Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a re-imagining of the original Silent Hill. Players still control Harry Mason as he searches the eponymous Silent Hill town for his daughter Cheryl. Although some characters and locations may be familiar to long time fans of the series, Shattered Memories tells its own story with its own game mechanics in the Silent Hill universe.
Shattered Memories marks as the last Silent Hill game to feature series composer Akira Yamaoka, who left Konami shortly after the game was released and joined Grasshopper Manufacture.
Shattered Memories diverges from past entries in the series in that there are no weapons players can use to fight off the undead. Instead, players must flee through doors and over fences to escape the pursuing enemies. The player's path is lit by an icy blue glow on doors or fences similar in style to Mirrors Edge.
Players must shake off enemies using Wiimote motions; these motions will also be used to allow the player to knock down wardrobes and other obstacles into the path of pursing creatures. The only other deterrent that can be used against the monsters are flares that can be found through out the level and if dropped in doorways or other choke points can slow or stop the movement of any pursuer.
Climax has pushed Shattered Memories as a psychological thriller and to that end they have created a game that watches every move the player makes and alters the game according to those actions. The game starts off in a psychiatrist's office, apparently a flash forward to after the events of the game, where the players is asked to fill out a brief questionnaire. The game takes the player's answers, and answers from other surveys later in the game, to tailor the experience for the player. As an example, if the player indicates that he has cheated on his partner then the cop that the player meets later in the game will be hostile towards the player because of their unfaithfulness. Also, if the player spends time looking at the sexy calenders in the car repair shop then the same cop will be sporting some cleavage when the player meets her.
The developers have indicated their desire to avoid unrealistic contrived puzzle elements. Instead puzzles blend more naturally into the environment, such as searching empty beer cans to find the key for a door, or finding a security system that unlocks a door. This goal of keeping the player in the moment extends to the UI design. There is no HUD, as the player's phone acts as a menu hub, giving the player access to a map or their in-game camera. This camera can be used to capture "echoes," things that can't be seen with the naked eye and give clues as to what has transpired in the game world. The game presents optional story elements in a seamless way. One might listen to phone message or look at local event boards to learn more about Silent Hill and its inhabitants.
In the Wii version, the game is controlled with the Wiimote and Nunchuck. The Wiimote is used to move the flashlight and look around, while the Nunchuck is used for character movement. In-game phone calls are listened to by holding the Wiimote up to one's ear. The characteristic radio crackle from previous games also comes from the Wiimote's speaker. In the first level, the A button is used for Harry to call out for his daughter Cheryl.
While driving through the spooky streets of Silent Hill, Harry's car skids on a patch of ice and veers off the road into a ditch. Upon waking from the crash, he realizes his daughter Cheryl is missing and sets out into the dark, freezing night to find her.
Harry's daughter who has mysteriously disappeared, causing him to brave the streets of Silent Hill. She's a cheerful girl who loves her father very much.
After years on the police force, Cybil has seen a lot of crazy things, but she's not quite sure what to make of Harry Mason. She decides early on to keep an eye on him, and their paths cross repeatedly. Cybil's appearance is different in every play through depending on the player's action. If player gives positive answers in the Psych Profile, Cybil will be more friendly and helpful to Harry. If not, she becomes a smoking, rude, cleavage-wearing policewoman.
A friendly, relatable therapist who shows up periodically to evaluate the player. His therapy sessions consist of interactive psychological test which players will actually take part in.
Michelle meets Harry at her High School reunion, however he doesn't remember it. Tired of waiting to meet up with her boyfriend, she decides to aid Harry in finding his daughter. Michelle is the only character that is new to the series and did not feature in the 1999 Silent Hill game.
A tough, street-wise young girl, Dahlia seems to know quite a bit about Harry. The fact that he can't remember anything about her confuses Dahlia as much as it does Harry.
Lisa is a nurse at Alchemilla Hospital. Although she's young, lines of experience are already evident on her face. Despite her cynicism, Harry finds himself protective of Lisa and offers to lend her a hand.
Like with all other Silent Hill games SH: Shattered Memories has multiple endings. In this game you can find 5 different endings depending on what you did while playing the game.
Needless to say that the following contains spoilers.
The endings can be broken up in to a core part (with a small outcome change depending on your psychological profile) that all 5 endings contain and the "ending" itself.
When close to the end of the game Harry lays unconscious in water close to a lighthouse. Cybil drags Harry out of the water and at this point Harry takes Cybil's gun. Harry wants to go up in the lighthouse and he doesn't want Cybil to stop him. After a talk Harry hands Cybil her gun back and goes inside the lighthouse.
We then cut back to Dr. Michael Kaufmann getting angry at his patient. He is yelling that all the things you told him are nothing more than delusions. All made-up by a scared little girl. At this point the camera changes perspective and we see an adult Cheryl Mason sitting in the chair. It is revealed that Harry Mason died in the car crash referred to throughout the sessions, years ago. What was depicted in the beginning of the game was a recreation by the evil town of Silent Hill, taken from Cheryl's memories. The thing that the player has been controlling all this time is just a replica of the real Harry, based on the way Cheryl remembers him.
Harry and Cheryl finally meet inside the lighthouse, where the psychoanalysis has been taking place. Depending on the psychological profile of the player it can have following outcomes:
- "Good" ending: Cheryl comes to terms with the death of her father and forgives him for what he has done. With the replica no longer necessary, Harry turns to solid ice and shatters into pieces.
- Neutral ending: Cheryl comes to terms with Harry's death, but does not forgive her father for the things he has done. Same as before, we see Harry turn into solid ice and shatter into pieces.
- "Bad" ending: Cheryl refuses to believe that her father died, and remains in the illusion created by Silent Hill, where she still lives in the town with her father.
After this we see the home movie from the beginning play again. After Cheryl says "I love my daddy" we see an extra home movie clip play:
Love Lost Ending
We see Harry going to his car with some luggage. While he is trying to say goodbye to his wife he sees Cheryl filming. He goes to her and tells her that she doesn't have to be sad or scared. Because "Even though her mom and dad don't love each other anymore, they still love her".
Drunk Dad Ending
We see Harry come home drunk. He stumbles and face plants onto the ground. He then sees Cheryl filming and yells at her to get him another beer.
Wicked and Weak Ending
We see Harry get beaten up by his wife. She hits him a couple of times and he stumbles back and falls to the ground. She also makes fun of his books. Cheryl zooms in on her father and the scene ends.
Sleaze and Sirens Ending
We see Harry in a bedroom with two women (Lisa and Michelle). After telling their names while standing in front of the camera they go and sit next to Harry on the bed. He tells them that he is working on a new book. Both women ask to dedicate the book to them, but Harry then tells them that he only dedicates books to his daughter and wife because that's the only fair thing to do. They all laugh and fall backwards on the bed.
UFO Joke Ending
(To get this ending you need to take pictures of the 13 UFOs hidden in the game)
As with all other Silent Hill games, Shattered Memories has a "joke" ending involving aliens.
This ending is a bit different from other endings because its animated in a 2D cartoon style. Cheryl comes to the conclusion that instead of having died, her father was abducted by aliens back in the day. Good old James from the second game also makes an appearance in this ending as well (he is too early for his session with Dr. Kaufmann). After a couple of scenes we see that the psychiatrist is actually an alien himself and Cheryl is represented as a dog for the rest of this ending.
After this and the credits we see Cheryl close a box with mementos. These are the ones you collected while playing the game.